CHAP. 202 HISTORY OF PERSIA w;hjch has already been mentioned, won imperishable fame by^resisting all attempts at assault after a surprise had failed.1: '.Tamerlane invested the Nafta darland* in person, his Aniirs attacking the other entrances. Some Badakshani hillrpjeif found a way up the cliffs and negotiations for sui'rjerider were opened up, but while they were in progress the astute defender broke down this track. Fourteen assaults were delivered, but without result, and the great Tamerlane had to admit defeat. However, he left a force to blockade the fortress, and in the end it was surrendered owing to an outbreak of plague. The city of Turshiz, the site of which 1 have ex- amined,3 was taken by force of arms. It was believed to be impregnable owing to its deep ditch and high walls; but the water was drawn off by well-diggers, a mine was run under the walls, and it had to surrender* The garrison was spared and re-enlisted under Tamerlane to serve in Turkestan. The Sistan Campaign^ A.H. 785 (1383).—The slow progress made by Tamerlane at this period, as compared with the ease with which the Mongols overran Persia, deserves attention. Herat had indeed submitted, but the resistance of Kalat-i-Nadiri and of other strongholds must have strained the resources of the Conqueror. Jatah, moreover, needed watching, and consequently it was not until the fourth year after the campaign began that Tamerlane was able to invade Sistan. Marching through Herat and Afghan Sabzawar, his cavalry devastated the whole district; Zirreh (which is probably the ancient Zaranj and the modern Nad All) was breached and stormed without resort to siege operations. Tamerlane now advanced on the city of Sistan, and made a personal reconnaissance. To quote from the Zafar Nama : <c I made towards a gate, and when only a short distance away I ascended a mound which is called Kutluk, and halted upon the summit. As a precautionary measure I placed 2000 men-at-arms, in complete armour, in an ambush. When the people of the country saw me come to a stand 1 Vide "A Fifth Journey in Persia," Journal R.G.S. for December 1906. 2 A darband is a defile which forms the natural entrance. 8 Journal R.G.S. for February 19x1.